Chateau de la Pommeraye

Calvados, Normandy, France Book from Book from £171 per night

A handsome, luxurious chateau in Normandy's Calvados country, with exquisite bedrooms, lavish gardens and even a moat you can row on
Hidden in a rural corner of Normandy, an hour from D-Day beaches and with great gardens, this symmetrical pink-ochre 17th-century mansion feels like you have walked into a fairytale. It’s a perfectly renovated chateau (once a home to French nobility) and is flanked by huge old barns with swallows nesting and a lawned cour d’honneur traced with topiary. There's even a large moat you can row on. Owner Alexandre left the buzz of Paris for this idyllic setting and his enthusiasm for the house’s rich history is infectious. Choose a book from the library, laze on a chaise longue in the garden, or settle in by a roaring log fire as evening draws in.

Classical art reproductions, tasteful interiors and echoing birdsong makes La Pommeraye a feast for the senses. Chat to other guests in the chic salon over a glass of delicious local wine. Later, wind up a fabulously restored staircase to floors of polished parquet, bountiful beds and scrumptious linen. The décor is elegant, original, classical - Louis XVI furniture, Delacroix watercolours, Persian carpets. Each of the 7 exquisite bedrooms has original polished floorboards, incredible bathrooms and superb reproductions of drawings and portraits. Spend your days making the most of rocky, watery, yet under-radar ‘Suisse Normande’. Climb, cycle, ride or take a small boat trip on the Orne river, or watch paragliders drift down the Clécy valley. Or tour the orchards and visit pretty villages - this part of Normandy has its own dedicated cider route.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Deep country setting – only Bach and birdsong to disturb the peace
  • Privacy: just eight large, luxurious bedrooms with fabulously indulgent bathrooms
  • Gorgeousness inside and out, from the light-flooded atrium above the Italianate stairwell to the manicured lawn and dreamy vistas
  • Elegant fine dining with a charismatic host
  • Great hiking and biking in the ‘Suisse Normande’

Lows

  • It’s a 15-minute drive to local shops and restaurants in Clécy
  • Dinner must be booked well in advance
  • The number of artwork reproductions adorning the walls may not be to everyone’s taste
  • No tea or coffee making facilities in the bedrooms
  • No lift - but the stairs are wide and easy

Best time to go

Normandy is a year-round destination. The summer months are particularly good thanks to village festivals, fairs and horse racing, although the hotspots such as Honfleur can get crowded. In the early autumn foodies will find fresh scallops, the apple harvest ongoing and trees full of colour. It's relatively quiet in the winter months, when you can relax by a blazing fire and gaze on dreamy hills. The hotel is closed annually from December - March.

Our top tips

Alexandre is a fount of knowledge about the area, the food, the history, and the culture. A visit to Normandy isn't complete without sampling its famous cider. (There are plenty of good merchants in the surrounding area if you want to stock up).

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7
  • Breakfast and dinner on request, restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Chambre des Levants

Rooms

The seven luxurious bedrooms are reached via a decorative bannistered landing running around an Italianate ‘well’. Those on the first floor are the grandest, with private salons and dressing rooms. Those on the second floor have lower ceilings and are cosier. Six feather pillows top regal beds, linen is white and organic and mattresses are divine.

Suites are the grandest, with private salons and dressing rooms. Chambres are cosier. Six feather pillows top regal beds, linen is white and organic, and mattresses are divine.

The handsome Chambre des Fragrances is decorated in the style of Napoleon III in creams and blacks, and has views that swoop over the Orangery gardens to a medieval ruin on a far hill. Larger still is Suite des Blancs ( in muted reds and moody purples), furnished in Empire style, plus a dressing room with a majestic antique mirror. Great windows overlook the gardens, the chapel and, to the front, the inner courtyard. This room can also be booked as a Chambre, without the dressing and sitting room.

Most magnificent of all is Suite des Rubans - a seductive family suite sleeping four. It's decorated in gentle 19th-century Gustavian tones, scattered with Louis XVI-style furniture, antique porcelain basins, an exquisite Persian carpet, and 8 luminous windows with more views.

On the second floor is the intimate Suite des Pensées, decorated in Directoire style and has a bedspread embroidered with exquisite pastel flowers. Wonderfully, it's reached via a small wood-panelled anteroom with a ‘secret’ door.

Chambre des Esquisses is on a cosier scale and decorated in late 19th-century orientalist style. As for the intricately tiled bathroom, it's as huge and fabulous as all the rest, with metre-wide bathtubs, snowy bathrobes and classy toiletries.

Chambre des Levants is the smallest room and completes the set on the second floor.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The breakfasts are an event in themselves. Delicious pastries and warm breads are accompanied by runny honey and local jams, with fruit juices and fragrant hot coffee on hand to refresh and revive. White linen, as stiff as a wimple, adds to the sense of occasion.

Note that there are no tea or coffee facilities in the bedrooms, but are offered in the main salon downstairs.

There are numerous restaurants a short drive away for when you fancy a change in scenery, and your host is more than happy to make recommendations and book tables for you. Normandy food is famously rich. If you want to do the local thing, try a 'Trou Normand' - a shot of Calvados taken with apple ice cream to clear the palate between courses. Other local appley delights include pear liqueur, pear and apple ciders and Benedictine, taken post-meal as a digestif.

Other goodies in the Norman basket include pungent cheeses and fresh oysters. Most local towns have weekly markets from which you can easily put together a spectacular picnic.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The whole area is very beautiful and very green, especially around Clécy, where you can take a small boat trip on the Orne.
  • Tak a picnic on the Sugar Loaf mountain from which paragliders drift down to the valley below.
  • Gorges, cliffs and plenty of water make ‘Swiss Normandy’ a mecca for hikers and bikers, climbers, riders and fishermen
  • Recover in the spa, just 300m from the hotel (closed Weds and Sunday).
  • Practise your rowing skills on the chateau moat, spot rare birds in the historic grounds, or visit the private lake
  • Find culture in Caen at the Musée des Beaux Arts, the Musée-Château de Guillaume le Conquérant, the Abbaye aux Hommes, the Abbaye aux Dames, and innumerable churches
  • Bayeux and its tapestry (68km) is a must, especially on Saturday mornings for the huge food market
  • Head to the famous D-Day beaches, reminders of Normandy’s not-so-distant past: Honfleur, Trouville and Deauville. In the first week of June, Bayeux stages a D-Day commemoration week
  • Walk around the beautiful gardens and manor houses of the area: Pontécoulant, Falaise, St Gabriel de Brécy, Mézidon Canon, Colombières, Balleroy, Fontaine Henry, Vendeuvre, Carrouges…

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Boat trips
    • Cider tasting
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Kayaking
    • Mountain biking
    • Paragliding
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Private guided tours
    • Rock climbing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Tennis
    • Well being

Kids

Not an obvious destination for families, but the owners have a young child themselves, and children who stay are made very welcome. There are extra beds and baby cots to borrow.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Chambres can fit 1 baby cot or 1 rollaway bed; the Suites can fit 2 baby cots or rollaway beds. Suite des Blancs and Suite des Rubans can inter-connect.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Chateau de la Pommaye lies in Calvados country, 7km from the small market town of Clécy and 50km from Caen in northern France.

By Air:
Caen (50km) is the closest airport, or you can fly into Deauville (90km) or Paris (250km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports, but bear in mind that from southern England it is no quicker to fly, and much more carbon-intensive than the ferry.

From the Airport
You'll need to hire a car; see our car rental recommendations.

By Ferry from the UK:
Portsmouth-Caen is a popular route, and the hotel is 50 minutes by car from Caen.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, take the Eurostar from London to Paris, then the train from Paris St Lazare to Bayeux (approx 2 hours). See Seat 61 for details. The hotel is a 1-hour taxi ride from Bayeux.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Caen la Mer 50.0 km CFR
  • Deauville Saint-Gatien 90.0 km DOL

Other:

  • Beach 50.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Rates for Chateau de la Pommeraye

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